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GP tutors face job cuts

By Rob Finch

GP tutors are being made redundant because of Government funding cuts to deaneries.

Mersey and London deaneries last week issued notices to tutors revealing plans to cut the number of posts and asking them to reapply for new roles.

In London, tutors have been told posts will be halved and new roles will carry greater responsibility for no more money.

Dr Vicky Weeks, chair of the GPC sessional GPs subcommittee and a GP tutor in London, said she was 'very upset' at having to reapply for a job that might not exist.

She said: 'It's indicative of the soft belly of GP education being asset-stripped.'

Dr Geoff Wong, a GP tutor in Swiss Cottage, north London, was unhappy at the short notice period and at being asked to reapply for a more demanding job which paid the same amount of money.

He said: 'The great difficulty is that it's a real tall order. The job description is much clearer but it's not adequately funded.'

GP tutors in Mersey are drafting a letter outlining their fears over dwindling professional support for practising GPs once the posts have disappeared.

Dr Peter Banyard, a tutor for the Mersey deanery and a GP in Warrington, said: 'We are losing a means of influencing primary care organisations about what support GPs require.

'It will be a significant loss of income, but it was more about giving something back.'

The deaneries said the pro-cess was only at the consultation stage and they hoped to salvage the posts.

A spokeswoman for the London deanery blamed the situation on the end of Government funding that had previously paid for professional development. She said: 'It's something we deeply regret having to do.'

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